3.7% of Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2006

Approximately 500,000 fewer adults in the United States fell victim to identity fraud in 2006 than in 2005. Of America’s overall adult population, 3.7% were victims, as compared to 4.0% in 2005. This demonstrates a continued year-over-year decrease since data was first collected in 2003 when 4.7% of the adult population was victimized. In terms of total dollars, identity fraud in 2007’s report dropped by an estimated 12% over the previous year, from $55.7 bln to $49.3 bln. New account fraud dropped from 1.5% of all respondents in 2006 to one% in 2007. When fraudulent accounts are opened, many victims caught the fraud more quickly utilizing online channels, such as the viewing of statements, resulting in average fraud amounts dropping from more than $10,000 in 2006 to $7,260 on average in 2007.

The overall adult population of the United States reported a fraud rate of 3.7%. Younger adults between 18 and 24 reported a much greater incident rate of 5.3%. Additionally, more than half of these victims reported knowing their perpetrators, which could include friends, neighbors or in-home employees, as compared to just 23% of overall respondents, Javelin says